Readers’ Advisory 2: Iron & Velvet. Alexis Hall

Quick Facts

Author: Alexis Hall

Published 2013 Riptide Publishing.  $16.99US, £12.99UK, €14.99EU

232pp. 9781626490499

Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Available in print, eBook

Why I Read It

I’d been seeing this book in my library for a few months now. It came to my attention while choosing books for a LGBT Pride display in June. Yes, I plan early, so that I have time to change my mind later. The premise seemed interesting. A half-faerie princess of the Wild Hunt is private investigator, and gets hired by a female vampire prince, who happens to be almost a millenia old and fond of ruffled shirts and orgies, to investigate the murder of a werewolf. It sounds a bit convoluted, but I was curious.

TLL’s Tag

Kate Kane knows she shouldn’t get caught up in para-politics, but money is money and the boss is hot.

The Rundown

Kate Kane is a private investigator. She’s also the half-mortal daughter of the faerie Queen of the Wild Hunt. She’s the ex-girlfriend of Nimue, Witch Queen (and if you recognize the name, yep, Nim’s her, too). She’s also the ex-girlfriend of a controlling, manipulative vampire enforcer. Kate’s got a lot going on. She’s called to investigate the murder of a werewolf cousin in the alley behind a club. This club just so happens to be owned by one of the ruling elite, Julian Saint-Germain, the vampire Prince of Cups. The killing can only be a political declaration of war, but Julian wants to be sure before she attacks.

Here’s what I think

This story has the most convoluted back story in the history of convoluted back stories. That does not, however, make it any less entertaining. Kate has history of dating the wrong people. People who  try to control her life, then leave her hanging. She also has a thing for dominant women. Julian Saint-Germain, 800-year-old former ninja nun vampire prince, is one such woman, though she doesn’t seem  to want to leave Kate. To only take place in an under 300 pages, this story packs a punch. It does feel a bit disjointed, though. It’s possible to pack too much into a story. Though I understand the need to get the exposition and background out-of-the-way in the first book in order to “tell the story” in the next  two books, it may have been better to leave some bits for later on.

That said, I was highly entertained while reading. I got caught up in Kate’s awkwardness and interactions with other characters. I felt the tension at the funeral for the murdered wolf. There’s a lot of action for such a short book as well. Unlike many action stories, this book did not feel like a bunch of action scenes strung together loosely. There’s just enough linear plotting to make sense, but again, there is that disjointed feeling. For example, the scene with the Prince of Coins, a miserly monk, went on for far too long. And the spiders…ick. The red herring of Maeve and her revenge attack didn’t really fit, either.

Final decision

It was entertaining.

3Q–Readable, without serious defects.

3.5P–Broad general or genre appeal.

Readalikes, courtesy of NoveList Plus

Authors

Jess Faraday

Robert Rankin

Ben Aaronovitch

Titles

Anonymous Rex, Eric Garcia

Pale Horses, Jassy Mackenzie

Death by Silver, Melissa Scott

Appeal Factors

Amusing, atmospheric, suspenseful

Book talk ideas

Queen of the Wild Hunt

Kate’s sleeping habits

Ninja vampire hunting nuns

Book discussion questions

1) Why was Kate’s mother furious when Kate pledged fealty to Nimue?

2) Kate’s loyalties are all over the place. Do you think her pledge to Nim and her relationship with Julian will get her into trouble?

3) How did you feel about Elsie?

4) Did you like the chapter titles?

5) Kate clearly has mommy issues. Do you think those will ever be resolved?

Clues to the Future

ninja vampire hunting nuns, sewer monsters, Kate Kane, Julian Saint Germain, Tara Vane Tempest, LGBT, the Wild Hunt, private investigator, paranormal mystery, the Lady of the Lake, Nimue, Alexis Hall, Iron and Velvet

Awards and Lists

Links to the Author, Interviews, and Reviews

Author site: http://www.quicunquevult.com/

Paranormal Unbound Interview: http://paranormalunbound.com/2014/02/14/a-conversation-with-alexis-hall/

Boys in our Books Interview: http://boysinourbooks.com/2014/01/15/new-author-spotlight-alexis-hall/

Criminal Element Review:http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2013/12/fresh-meat-iron-a-velvet-by-alexis-hall

Bookpushers Review: http://thebookpushers.com/2013/12/29/review-iron-velvet-kate-kane-paranormal-investigator-1-by-alexis-hall/

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